19th October 2018
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Steering Column 25.07.08

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Dream Wheels

SOMEONE’S been listening to me … perhaps. A few weeks ago I said I hoped Subaru was going to put its wonderful new boxer diesel engine into the saloon version of its large family car, the Legacy. Well this week the company has unveiled just that.

I can’t think of an “affordable” road-car that’s more attractive. It has five comfy seats, four-wheel-drive to keep you going when the snows set in, 148bhp to whip you up to 62mph in just over eight seconds, a stonking 258lb.ft. of torque to haul you up the steepest hills, yet an average fuel con­sumption of just over 50mpg.

The horizontally-opposed, four-cylinder engine is smooth and refined and Subaru says the car’s actually quieter than a Rolls Royce Phantom.

It’s been shown to the world at the British International Motor Show and we’re told it’ll cost just under £20,000. The early pictures show a sleek and elegant car you can be proud of and, once again, I wish I had the cash.

Insignia on the dotted line

More details of Vauxhall’s replacement for the Vectra have been released at the motor show. We’re now told the prices of the Insignia will begin at £15,935, there’ll be new technology across the range, and there’ll be five engines and five levels of equipment from the day it’s launched.

It’ll only be available in saloon or hatchback to start with, but there’ll undoubtedly be an estate along before too long.

The base model has a 1.8-litre petrol engine and the other two petrol units will be a two-litre turbocharged four-cylinder and a 2.8 turbo V6. The diesel engines will both have a capacity of two-litres, but one will turn out 128bhp and the other 158bhp. The cheapest way you can get you hands on a diesel engine is in the Exclusiv model which costs £16,935.

Transformer Star is Born

Anyone who enjoyed last sum­mer’s blockbuster movie Trans­formers, will be interested to know that the sexy yellow Chevrolet Camaro concept car that the hero Shia LaBeouf drove is about to built for general sale.

Better still, it’s going to be avail­able in the UK from 2010 … albeit without the option of turning it into a world-saving giant robot. My daughter hopes they put the Trans­former symbol on the hub of the steer­ing wheel … just like in the film.

Ecofiesta

Hot on the heels of the first pictures of the new Fiesta, we’re being told about a version described by Ford as “ultra-frugal”. The Fiesta ECOnetic has an average fuel consumption of an almost unbelievable 76.3mpg, making it the most fuel efficient five-seat family car in the UK.

The figure is achieved by a combination of a sleek air-slippery body, lowered suspension, low resistance tyres and low friction oil. It’s also got a wee light on the dash that comes on when the time is right to change gear.

Costing £11,800, the gas-sipper goes on sale at the end of the year. It’s so clean that it turns out less than 100g/km of carbon dioxide – that means you don’t pay any road tax at all. And it’s beautiful too.

Mike Grundon